Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Brian Hughes: Impressive Bob Olinger Will Have No Problems Over Three Miles at Cheltenham


Brian Hughes: Impressive Bob Olinger will have no problems over three miles at Cheltenham


The weather has beaten a lot of tracks over the last few days, so it’s been a quieter week of racing than we’d like. I know Donald McCain has had a lot of rain down with him, so it’s tough for all the team down there, but fingers crossed it will dry up and we’ll get a good run of it.

Down at Cheltenham last week, it turned out, as feared, that the undulating nature of the track wasn’t to Richmond Lake’s liking. He’s so tough and hardy that he kept going, but it wasn’t for him.

All his good form is on level tracks, but when there’s a hundred grand handicap and you’ve got a nice racing weight with just six runners, you’ve got to give it a go.

Brewin’upastorm ran with plenty of credit, given he was the old man of the pack.

I was a bit annoyed to pick up a two-day ban for careless riding, but the way the rules are written, the onus was on me to not interfere with the horse coming from behind, who was Bob Olinger. It’s a tough one. I don’t have eyes in the back of my head and it’s frustrating, but I’ll just have to swallow it and move on.

That aside, Bob Olinger was very impressive, and I’d say there’s a fair chance he will rock up in the Stayers’ Hurdle. I wouldn’t say three miles will cause any problems for him.

Carved In Stone wasn’t at home on the ground or track, so he did well to finish off as strongly as he did in the bumper. He was off the bridle after a furlong and was very unbalanced all the way, so I dropped him in as I didn’t want to put him under too much pressure early doors.

I gave him a chance to get into the race late on and he was only beaten five lengths, so there’s definitely ability there. He’s a nice horse who needs a bit of time.

Friday at Musselburgh

Chatshow Host (12:45 pm) is a two-time point-to-point winner, so the step up to three miles should suit her well, then Heartbreak Kid (1:55 pm) is definitely worth a second look given what happened the last day. He was unfortunate when running out early on and I wouldn’t let that put you off him. He’s been running well over fences on the whole and should put up another magnificent effort.

Whitehaven (2:30 pm) put in a better run on the last day and would have a good chance on his flat form. He’s in a low-grade race and should be in the mix if putting his best foot forward. He’s back from two-and-a-half miles to two, which will suit him a bit better as well.

Flaubert (3:40 pm) is an 18-length winner of a point-to-point where the form has worked out really well. The third has come out and won a point-to-point since and the horse who finished fourth is now with Brian Ellison and won a novice hurdle at Catterick on New Year’s Day, so there’s plenty to like about him.

Saturday at Newcastle

Teescomponentstrig (1:05 pm) looks like one of my better chances on the day. He ran well the last day and is back up to three miles at Newcastle, where he’s won before, so I think he’s got a squeak.

I fancy Carigeen Castle (2:50 pm) could bounce back from finishing a distant third at Hexham on the last day. I don’t think that was really his track and we could see him in a better light at Newcastle.

Those are the two that I’d be keener on of my four rides on the day.